Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau
Coat of arms of the University of Auckland
|Motto||Latin: Ingenio et labore|
Motto in English
|By natural ability and hard work|
|Established||1883; 137 years ago|
|Chancellor||Scott St John|
|2,183 (FTE, 2015)|
|2,892 (FTE, 2015)|
|Students||33,050 (EFTS, 2015)|
|Undergraduates||25,754 (EFTS, 2015)|
|Postgraduates||7,717 (EFTS, 2015)|
|Affiliations||ACU, APAIE, APRU, Universitas 21, WUN|
The University of Auckland (Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau) is a public research university in Auckland, New Zealand. Established in 1883 as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand, the university is perennially ranked as the top academic institution in the country. Today, the University of Auckland is the largest university in New Zealand, hosting over 40,000 students on five Auckland campuses.
The University of Auckland began as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand, founded on 23 May 1883 as Auckland University College. Stewardship of the University during its establishment period was the responsibility of John Chapman Andrew (Vice Chancellor of the University of New Zealand 1885–1903). Housed in a disused courthouse and jail, it started out with 95 students and 4 teaching staff: Frederick Douglas Brown, professor of chemistry (London and Oxford); Algernon Phillips Withiel Thomas, professor of natural sciences (Oxford); Thomas George Tucker, professor of classics (Cambridge); and George Francis Walker, professor of mathematics (Cambridge). By 1901, student numbers had risen to 156; the majority of these students were training towards being law clerks or teachers and were enrolled part-time. From 1905 onwards, an increasing number of students enrolled in commerce studies.
The University conducted little research until the 1930s, when there was a spike in interest in academic research during the Depression. At this point, the college's executive council issued several resolutions in favour of academic freedom after the controversial dismissal of John Beaglehole (allegedly for a letter to a newspaper where he publicly defended the right of communists to distribute their literature), which helped encourage the college's growth.
In 1934, four new professors joined the college: Arthur Sewell (English), H.G. Forder (Mathematics), C.G. Cooper (Classics) and James Rutherford (History). The combination of new talent, and academic freedom saw Auckland University College flourish through to the 1950s.
In 1950, the Elam School of Fine Arts was brought into the University of Auckland. Archie Fisher, who had been appointed principal of the Elam School of Fine Arts was instrumental in having it brought in the University of Auckland.
The University of New Zealand was dissolved in 1961 and the University of Auckland was empowered by the University of Auckland Act 1961.
In 1966, lecturers Keith Sinclair and Bob Chapman established The University of Auckland Art Collection, beginning with the purchase of several paintings and drawings by Colin McCahon. The Collection is now managed by the Centre for Art Research, based at the Gus Fisher Gallery. The Stage A of the Science building was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on 3 May. In 1975-81 Marie Clay and Patricia Bergquist, the first two female professors, were appointed.
Queen Elizabeth II opened the new School of Medicine Building at Grafton on 24 March 1970. The Queen also opened the Liggins Institute in 2002.
The North Shore Campus, established in 2001, was located in the suburb of Takapuna. It offered the Bachelor of Business and Information Management degree. At the end of 2006, the campus was closed, and the degree relocated to the City campus.
On 1 September 2004, the Auckland College of Education merged with the University's School of Education (previously part of the Arts Faculty) to form the Faculty of Education and Social Work. The faculty is based at the Epsom Campus of the former college, with an additional campus in Whangarei.
Professor Stuart McCutcheon became Vice-Chancellor on 1 January 2005. He was previously the Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington. He succeeded Dr John Hood (PhD, Hon. LLD), who was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford. On 16 March 2020, McCutcheon was succeeded by Professor Dawn Freshwater, the first female Vice-Chancellor in the University's history.
The University opened a new business school building in 2007, following the completion of the Information Commons. It has recently gained international accreditations for all its programmes and now completes the "Triple Crown" (AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB).
In 2009, the University embarked on a NZ$1 billion 10-year plan to redevelop and expand its facilities. The $240m Grafton Campus upgrade was completed in 2011. In May 2013 the University purchased a site for new 5.2-hectare campus on a former Lion Breweries site adjacent to the major business area in Newmarket. The Faculty of Engineering and the School of Chemical Sciences moved into the new faculties in 2015. The NZ$200 million new Science Centre was opened in July 2017. The NZ$280 million new Engineering Building was completed in 2019. In 2017, work started on the building of a new $116m medical school building in Grafton Campus. In 2019, work has begun with the redevelopment of the University Recreation Centre in the City Campus. The University of Auckland has also built multiple student accommodation buildings, and it became the largest provider of student accommodation in New Zealand.
The head of the University is the Chancellor, currently Scott St John, however this position is only titular. The chief executive of the University is the Vice-Chancellor, currently Professor Dawn Freshwater, who is the University's sixth Vice-Chancellor, and the first female to hold the role.
The Blazon of the Arms of the University of Auckland is: Azure between three mullets argent an open Book proper edged and bound Or with seven Clasps on either side Or, on a chief wavy also argent three Kiwis proper. Translation of the Blazon. The shield is the first part described "Azure" means blue so the shield is blue. A "mullet" is a five pointed star and when there are three of them they are depicted two above and one below. Their colour is silver ("argent".) Between these stars is an open book and "proper" means the book is shown in its natural colours – normally black and white. The edge ("edged") of the book and the binding of the book is in gold ("Or".) and it is bound with seven clasps on either side which would close the book securely when closed. These clasps are also gold. A "chief" is a broad strip at the top of the shield but "wavy" means that the base of the chief is in a wave like line. The colour of the chief is silver ("argent".) On the chief are three kiwis and "proper" means that they are shown in their natural colour.
Since eliminating open entry in 2009, all applicants must have a university entrance qualification. Domestic students are required to achieve the NZQA University Entrance Standard, while international students must achieve an equivalent approved qualification in their country. Admission to the University also requires applicants to meet the preset academic and English language entry requirements specific to the degree for which they are applying. Some programmes also have a preset number of places available within the degree. To be guaranteed entry students must achieve a rank score as well as meet any additional requirements.
All students who did not complete their high school education or equivalent in English are also required to provide a valid IELTS score (minimum of 6.0) or equivalent.
Other facilities include:
From the start of the first semester of 2010, the University banned smoking on any of its property, including inside and outside buildings in areas that were once designated as smoking areas.
UOAIIC was established by the University of Auckland and UniServices, the commercialisation arm and knowledge transfer company of the University of Auckland, in 2017 in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. The Institute occupies a 2800m² physical space in the Hangzhou Qiantang New Area. UOAIIC is led by Dr Yuan Li. It organises annual conferences and meetings for the University to seek commercial opportunities for its research in China.
Aulin College, based in Harbin, China, was set up by the University of Auckland and the Northeast Forestry University (NEFU) of China in 2019. The name 'Aulin' is a combination of the word "Au" (from the name "Auckland") and "Lin", which is the Chinese word for farming and agriculture. In September 2019, Aulin College had its first intake of undergraduate students. Aulin College offers Bachelor's and master's degrees in Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Technology. Graduates will receive degrees from both the University of Auckland and NEFU.
The University of Auckland Library system consists of the General Library and seven specialist libraries: the Business and Information Centre, Davis Law Library, Leigh Marine Laboratory Library, the Philson Library, the Sylvia Ashton-Warner Library on the Epsom and Tai Tokerau campuses, and the Tāmaki Library and Information Commons.
In mid-2018, Vice-Chancellor McCutcheon announced that the University would be closing its Fine Arts, the Architecture and Planning, and Music and Dance Libraries. Their collections were merged into the General Library's collections.
The General Library Special Collections stores several rare books, manuscripts and archives and other material relating to the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. Some notable manuscript collections include the Western Pacific Archives (which contains British colonial records relating to that region between 1877 and 1978), the poet Robin Hyde's papers, and the archives of the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre, local Labour Party branches, and the New Zealand Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The Special Collections also has several published collections including the Patterson Collection (which contains books on biblical studies, classics, and ancient history), children's author Betty Gilderdale's collection of New Zealand children's books, the Philson Library's collections of pre-1900 medical books, and the Asian Language Collection (which contains 230 titles of rare Chinese books). Some notable microtext collections include the Maori Land Court Minute Books and the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau series.
The University of Auckland provides a range of accommodation options for students. Several hundred live in Residential Halls and Apartments, which provide, respectively, food, accommodation, social and welfare services, alongside self-catered, private residences. The University ceased leasing Railway Campus in November 2008.
The University has four residential halls including Grafton Hall, O'Rorke Hall, University Hall–Towers, and Waipārūrū Hall. These halls are full-catered and are aimed at first–year university students.
In addition, the University runs nine self-catered student residences including Te Tirohanga o te Tōangaroa, Carlaw Park Student Village, Grafton Student Flats, 55 Symonds, University Hall–Towers, UniLodge Anzac/Beach, UniLodge Whitaker, Waikohanga House, and the Goldie Estate Homestead on Waiheke Island. These halls and student residences are located in the Auckland CBD area near the university.
Until his death in 2009, the longest serving staff member was Emeritus Professor of Prehistory, Roger Curtis Green, BA BSc (New Mexico), PhD (Harv.), FRSNZ, MANAS. He had been on the staff 1961–66 and from 1973 onwards. The longest serving, non-'retired' staff member is Bernard Brown, ONZM, LLB (Hons) (Leeds), LLM (Sing.). He has been a full-time senior lecturer in the faculty of law 1962-65 and 1969 onwards. William Phillips, the influential economist largely famed for his Phillips curve, taught at the university from 1969 until his death in 1975. The programming language R, widely used by statisticians and data scientists, was developed at the university by Robert Gentleman and Ross Ihaka in the 1990s.
According to the Association of University Staff of New Zealand (AUS) in 2007, New Zealand universities, including the University of Auckland, had been taking a more litigious approach to managing their staff in recent years and engaged lawyers and employment advocates to handle even minor matters. The University of Auckland "paid out more than $780,000 in 2006 to settle problems it listed as including personal grievances and disputes". For example, Paul Buchanan, a popular, world-renowned lecturer on international relations and security, was summarily dismissed in 2007 because a student to whom he sent an email complained that she found his comments about her performance in his class to be offensive. He was later reinstated, but this was just a formality and he never returned to lecturing. As the AUS would not financially support a case for full reinstatement, Buchanan accepted the formal reinstatement and a nominal monetary payout as a settlement of his appeal to the Employment Court.
|Ethnicity of students||2019||2018||2017||2016||2015||2014||2013|
|Asian||19,466 - 45.1%||18,621 - 43.5%||17,607 - 41.6%||16,683 - 39.8%||16,219 - 38.5%||15,769 - 37.6%||15,291 - 37.0%|
|European||14,570 - 33.8%||14,985 - 35.0%||15,587 - 36.8%||16,095 - 38.4%||16,771 - 39.8%||17,372 - 41.4%||17,451 - 42.2%|
|Pacific Islander||3,638 - 8.4%||3,704 - 8.7%||3,620 - 8.6%||3,609 - 8.6%||3,582 - 8.5%||3,531 - 8.4%||3,277 - 7.9%|
|Māori||3,117 - 7.2%||3,078 - 7.2%||3,116 - 7.4%||3,183 - 7.6%||3,183 - 7.6%||2,932 - 7.0%||2,882 - 7.0%|
|MELAA (Middle Eastern, Latin American, African)||1,579 - 3.7%||1,559 - 3.6%||1,460 - 3.4%||1,389 - 3.3%||1,349 - 3.2%||1,327 - 3.2%||1,267 - 3.1%|
|Other||778 - 1.8%||812 - 1.9%||912 - 2.2%||907 - 2.2%||996 - 2.4%||1,022 - 2.4%||1,195 - 2.9%|
Auckland UniServices Limited is the commercial research and knowledge transfer company for the university.
The University of Auckland is New Zealand's leading university. It is the highest ranked New Zealand university in the QS World University Rankings and Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities, and together with the University of Otago is the only university included in the Times Higher Education top 250. Some 35 percent of the top ranked academic researchers in New Zealand are at the University of Auckland.
2010 QS World University Rankings ranked University of Auckland 68th overall in the world, scoring very consistently in the subject rankings: 51st in Arts & Humanities, 55th in Engineering & IT, 41st in Life Sciences & Biomedicine, 68th in Natural Sciences and 38th in Social Sciences.
2011 QS World University Rankings ranked the University of Auckland 82nd overall in the world. In the subject rankings, it ranked less than the previous year: 55th in Arts & Humanities, 62nd in Engineering & IT, 50th in Life Sciences & Biomedicine, 73rd in Natural Sciences, 41st in Social Sciences and 33rd in Accounting & Finance.
2014 QS World University Rankings ranked the University of Auckland 92nd overall in the world. In the subject rankings, it continues getting less than previous years for most areas: 91st in Natural Sciences, 66th in Engineering & IT, 74th in Life Sciences & Biomedicine, 30th in Social Sciences and 35th in Arts & Humanities.
2015 QS World University Rankings ranked the University of Auckland 82nd overall in the world. In Faculty rankings, the University was placed 28th in Arts and Humanities, 34th in Social Sciences and Management, 59th in Engineering and Technology, 70th in Life Sciences and Medicine, and 134th in Natural Sciences.
2016 QS World University Rankings ranked the University of Auckland 81st overall in the world. The University of Auckland is ranked first in New Zealand in 35 of the 40 subjects, featuring in the top 50 in 15 subjects: Archaeology (20), Education (23), Development Studies (26), Psychology (29), English Language and Literature (31), Nursing (32), Law (32), Accounting and Finance (34), Geography (38), Civil and Structural Engineering (41), Architecture (44), Anthropology (44), Social Policy (49), Linguistics (49), Business and Management Studies (50).
In 2019, the University of Auckland is ranked Number 1 globally in the inaugural University Impact Rankings by Times Higher Education. The result recognised the University's performance against the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the University's commitment to sustainability and making positive social impacts.
The University of Auckland is a research-led university, and had the second highest ranking in the 2006 and 2012 Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) exercises conducted by the government that evaluated the quality of researchers and research output of all tertiary institutions in New Zealand.
In the previous PBRF evaluation in 2003, when the University was ranked the top research university in New Zealand, the Commission commented: "On virtually any measure, the University of Auckland is the country’s leading research university. Not only did it achieve the highest quality score of any TEO [tertiary education organisation], but it also has by far the largest share of A-rated researchers in the country."
The Auckland University Students' Association (AUSA) represents students at the University. AUSA publicises student issues, administers student facilities, and assists affiliated student clubs and societies. AUSA also produces the student magazine Craccum and runs the radio station bFM. The name of the alumni association is the University of Auckland Society.
CECIL (CSL, short for Computer Supported Learning) was the university's learning management and course management system before Canvas and was developed in-house. It had more than 44,000 log-ins per day (2008 April). Cecil support staff worked with academics on research into cheating detections during online assessment, productivity improvement using a learning management system (LMS), and effectiveness of tools in LMS. Cecil contains many of the features of similar systems such as Sakai Project and WebCT. Cecil also provides interactive tools for collaboration and other tools specific to the University. In 2014, a review of learning and teaching technology was initiated, seeking to replace Cecil. The review determined that Canvas (a learning management system developed by Instructure) would be implemented prior to the commencement of the 2016 academic year, and CECIL now acts as an archive for old courses.
Established in 1966 by Keith Sinclair and Bob Chapman, The Art Collection is one of the University's most valuable and cherished assets. However, its most poignant value lies in its use as a resource for teaching, learning and research. Available on loan to departments and faculties on all campuses, the Collection has been built up over forty years to include major works by significant artists such as Frances Hodgkins, Colin McCahon, Billy Apple and Ralph Hotere. Outcomes from postgraduate research on the Collection have included a thesis on its own history as an entity, monograph exhibitions on individual artists, and surveys of the impact of the evolution of the Collection on Auckland's dealer galleries, resulting in the exhibitions and publications Vuletic and His Circle (about the Petar/James Gallery) in 2003 and New Vision Gallery in 2008.
In April 2016, Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon announced that University of Auckland would be selling off its Epsom and Tamaki campuses in order to consolidate education and services at the City, Grafton, and Newmarket campuses. The Epsom Campus is the site of the University of Auckland's education faculty while the Tamaki campus hosts elements of the medical and science faculties as well as the School of Population Health.
In mid-June 2018, McCutcheon announced that the University would be closing down and merging its specialist fine arts, architecture, and music and dance libraries into the City Campus' General Library. In addition, the University would cut 100 support jobs. The Vice-Chancellor claimed that these cutbacks would save between NZ$3 million and $4 million a year. This announcement triggered criticism and several protests from arts faculty and students. Students objected to the closure of the Elam Fine Arts Library on the grounds that it would make it harder to access study materials. Thousands of dissenters circulated a petition protesting the Vice-Chancellor's restructuring policies. Protests were also held in April, May, and June 2018.
Unlike other New Zealand universities such as the University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Auckland has not yet divested from fossil fuels. In April 2017, more than 100 students from the Auckland University Medical Students Association marched demanding the removal of coal, oil and gas from the University's investment portfolio. In May 2017, 14 people from student group Fossil Fuel UoA occupied the Clocktower, urging current Vice Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon to issue a statement in support of divestment from fossil fuels. After twelve hours, they were forcibly removed by police. The following day over two hundred students and staff marched to demand divestment from fossil fuels  and more than 240 members of staff from 8 faculties signed an open letter supporting divestment to the Boards of the University of Auckland Foundation and School of Medicine Foundation. Professor McCutcheon has not yet indicated support for fossil fuel divestment.
In 2019, scuffles erupted on the City Campus at the University of Auckland between Chinese students and Hong Kong students. Lennon Walls were put up by students in support of the 2019 Hong Kong protests, but they were then removed by Chinese students with opposing views. The Chinese Consulate praised the patriotism of the Chinese students involved in the scuffles. The New Zealand Police and the University conducted investigations into the incidents.
In 2019 the University faced allegations of inactivity against white supremacist groups operating on campus, including their unwillingness to take down posters advertising for a white supremacist group.
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